Friday, January 25, 2013

What to tell people when they ask "why are you not on Facebook?"

Even though I have been off of Facebook for almost a year, I still am often told "I have not seen you on Facebook lately."  Other times I am outright asked, "why are you not on Facebook?"  I often give a short answer that I don't feel that the site is beneficial for me or that I don't see a point in using Facebook.  Many people just look at me with a strange expression on their face as if this is hard to compute for them.  I have come to the conclusion that it is not easy to give a clear reason why I am not on Facebook in a short amount of words.  Therefore, I have written this as what I would like to say when asked, "Why do you not use Facebook?"


There are many reasons I do not use Facebook.  First, After years of using what I like to call (a)social networking, I realized that I was not getting much out of it.  Sure, I could keep in touch with family members and friends, and at first it was a good way to keep in touch with other people.  However, as time progressed I realized that there was little actual interaction between friends and family as they got used to each others presence on the site.  Facebook had turned merely into a way to put ones life on display.  I have absolutely no need to put my life on display for other people.

I have found that many people tie their self-esteem to how others perceive them.  If they are not constantly getting attention they seem to feel that they are not worth much as a person.  With the competition between people and the constant barrage of status updates, one has to try harder than ever to be seen.  What you have now are people that share every small detail of their lives on the internet, from what they ate for dinner to what their smallest pet peeves are.  You have people trying to assert their religious and political beliefs on one another, and if there is a disagreement, even a small one, a battle easily ensues.

Being on Facebook is not healthy.  One becomes obsessive about the site, feeling the need to check it constantly.  While at school during lectures I see people constantly on Facebook, minimizing the page when they need to type notes and opening it seconds later while the professor is speaking.  People compulsively feel the urge to log on no matter where they are.  One thinks about the site and what others said as they go throughout their day.  At work, individuals glance at Facebook while a supervisor is not looking.  At home families ignore each other, posting on Facebook instead of interacting.  Such addiction is not beneficial in the slightest.  If you claim that you are not addicted to Facebook but feel the need to use it on a regular basis, you may want to reevaluate your use of the site.

The biggest reason I left Facebook was that I wanted more out of my life.  I have noticed that many people who I knew as creative types seemed to lose much of their creativity after they become users of Facebook.  Many individuals no longer feel the need to improve their skills in various hobbies, create things, or improve their lives.  Instead, hours are spent on Facebook, engaging in arguments, bragging, and spying on others.  Instead of being a productive person and realizing one's dreams, I notice many people instead opt to assess themselves and where they stand in life by comparing themselves to other Facebook users.  As if it is the Facebook users that they should be comparing themselves to.  This is not how I want to live my life.  This is why I am not on Facebook.

I strongly feel that Facebook and (a)social networking has damaged the way people interact and how people spend their time.  Many people can not even sit through a college lecture without opening their phone or logging onto Facebook on their laptop.  Even though their grade depends on what they learn, many people find that using Facebook is far more important than increasing their intellectual capabilities.  Actions are stronger than words, and the actions of many that use Facebook tell me that Facebook use is far more important to them than developing the self.  Although one may say things on Facebook that make them appear to be worthy of envy, the truth is that if one is spending hours on Facebook, those hours are not being spent bettering the self, learning, discovering, improving abilities, creating, parenting, or becoming a productive individual.

With the foregoing in mind, it is obvious that I would not be on Facebook.  Those who know me should realize that Facebook is not the type of place where I would want to spend my time.  (A)social networking is, in the end, a waste of my time.


  1. To a lot of people, you certainly don't exist if you aren't on Facebook. I am not, and as a result I was excluded from my 10 year class reunion. The entire thing was planned and coordinated via Facebook. I found out from a former classmate that I still see every so often, and was told that since I wasn't on Facebook, no one knew how to contact me, even though several high school friends have my phone number and address.